23 May 2012

Thirteen Reasons Why

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Jay Asher
Pages: 288
Format: Paperback
Rating: 9 out of 10

Summary (Thank you GoodReads): Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Take: I loved this book! I read it in less than 24 hours. I couldn't put it down and stayed up late to read it. I would have been done so much faster if I didn't have a life. I would have given up my life to read this book faster. I was so amazed at how all the stories fit together. It is simply incredible writing. The characters are totally understandable. I felt bad for Clay. I felt worse for him than any other character I've ever read about. It was amazing. I loved how he travelled around with the map he was given. Even the time span of the book, one night, added to the story. I felt the same urgency to know what happened to Hannah that Clay did.

This story really makes you think about what you do to people and how you treat them. Since I read this (three days ago) I have been much more careful about what I say to people and I think about how it might be taken. I try to remember that I don't always know what other people are going through and I must be sensitive to that always.

Final Thoughts: I would recommend this book to anyone who is okay with a lot of emotion and a bit of crying. I do not recommend this book if you are thinking about suicide. I know that the back says that it is uplifting but I was left upset, depressed, and with unanswered questions. It never gives a reason why should could fight to stay alive but it more about the reasons she did it. It forces you to look at how you treat people but not at how you deal with hardships that you will face in your life. You can't help but draw parallels and wonder why you and her are so different.

I really did love this novel.

6 May 2012

Heaven is For Real

Reviewer: Kelsey
Author: Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent
Pages: 163
Format: Paperback
Rating: 8 out of 10

Summary (from GoodReads): This is the true story of Colton Burpo, the four-year old son of a small-town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven.

My Take: This is an interesting book. It makes you think about what there really is after death. People don't always think about this topic all that often. The point of the book is not to make you believe in anything but to tell Colton's story. I'm glad it wasn't trying to be persuasive. The boy has a lot to say with a great way to look at the world and life. He gives people a lot to think about whether they want to think about it or not. You can't help but finish the book and be left with questions.

The story was told from someone who was right there, otherwise it wouldn't have been believable. The stuff that this boy says in simply incredible. This was a definite page turner; I finished it in just over two hours. It opens with the troubles the family was already facing before the real story begins. This didn't bother me at first but as the book went on, I found that the same part of the story was told multiple times. It wasn't a very big deal though, just a small thing in the big picture that is this story.

Final Take: It would help for you to have some religious background but it isn't necessary. I would recommend this book to anyone who is curious and open about life after death. Even if you just want a good story about life and overcoming obstacles, this is a good book for you.

1 May 2012

Do you guys have any books you'd recommend? We're always looking for new ones to read!
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